Stigma driving AIDS crisis among African gays: report


A wall of silence, repression and discrimination are amplifying dangers for men who have sex with men in sub- Saharan Africa, they said in a paper published online today.

Researchers from the University of Oxford looked at published studies for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) prevalence from 2003 to 2009.

Prevalence among gays in some parts of West Africa is 10 times that for the general male population, they found.

The difference varies a lot across Africa, but in most of the countries studied, the rates among homosexuals were substantially higher than among heterosexuals.

Political, religious and social hostility towards homosexuality is entrenched in many countries, and this breeds isolation, harassment and prejudice, enabling risky sex practices to multiply, the paper said.

"Unprotected anal sex is commonplace, knowledge and access to inappropriate risk prevention measure are inadequate and... in some contexts, many MSM [men who have sex with men] engage in transactional sex," it said.

The paper said secrecy was so entrenched that data about gay sex behaviour in Africa was often sketchy or absent.

Liked the story?

  • 0

    Happy
  • 0

    Amused
  • 0

    Sad
  • 0

    Frustrated
  • 0

    Angry